Reviews
912 reviews    1 3 4 5 6 7 29
Wait A Little - South Africa

Big Five Safari

4 star rating   23 September 2023

Rosemary who has been on 41 In The Saddle rides. Enjoyable 'big five' riding safari | This is my second visit to WAL (the first was 15 years ago and was then my first 'big five' horse safari). As professional and welcoming as I remember although the riding was somewhat slower than I recall. The bush had closed in somewhat from all those years ago so tracking through the thorns was often quite a challenging experience and many clothes were shredded - tho the horses were amazing! I can remember 'bushwhacking' last time - jumping fallen trees etc - but bush much too closed in now. Fewer canters on the tracks too - obviously when tracking wildlife you are not 'charging about' all the time but it's nice to have a few good long canters where appropriate.
However, I loved my two horses, McClay and Orion - particularly Orion who was just my 'cup of tea'!


Wild Coast - South Africa

Wild Coast Adventure Trail

5 star rating   23 September 2023

Emily who has been on 25 In The Saddle rides. Wild Coast Adventure Trail | Lovely long canters along the beach.


Quinta do Rol - Portugal

Quinta do Rol

5 star rating   21 September 2023

Carolle (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Perfect dressage vacations | Excellent


Tsylos Lodge - British Columbia

Lodge Horseback Riding

5 star rating   17 September 2023

Mary who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Incredible Experience that Exceeded our Expectations | The horses were very well cared for - we were all questioned for some time regarding our riding experience before they matched us with our horses.
The first day was a shorter ride (2 hours) to check that we were all happy with our mounts.


Miyak Tribe Trail - North Macedonia

Miyak Tribe Trail

5 star rating   17 September 2023

Lise (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Excellent | Everything about horses and riding was so nice.

Vasco had a lot of experience in matching horse and rider, so the experience was that everyone in the was satisfied and thought they had got the right horse.

It was exciting to ride in the beautiful mountains. Very fun and technical climbing combined with fast canters.


Miyak Tribe Trail - North Macedonia

Miyak Tribe Trail

5 star rating   17 September 2023

Belinda who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Magical Miyak Trail | Exhilarating, beyond any expectations I could have possibly have held.


Miyak Tribe Trail - North Macedonia

Miyak Tribe Trail

5 star rating   17 September 2023

Karin (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) A magnificent trail | Excellent


Lassithi Trek - Crete

Lassithi Trek

5 star rating   17 September 2023

Leslie who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic Ride | The ride provided a great representation of the beautiful and varied terrain of Crete.


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Colette who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Wonderful horses, wildlife and people. | The Ants team were so welcoming, flexible and very friendly. Nothing was too much trouble. They look after their animals so well and are the horses are responsive yet footsure. The lodge was beautiful and having our meals in different place felt really special. And the standard of food was excellent. Could not fault the holiday. An amazing place.
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you very much for your feedback and we are so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed your holiday to Ant's]


Round Up - Iceland

Sheep Round Up - Rangárvallaafréttur

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Kim who has been on 19 In The Saddle rides. Challenging week working with locals, riding in remote and stunning other wordly landscapes | Absolutely love the Icelandic method of riding, it is very different from the English style and initially takes a bit of getting used to to get the best from your horse. You put your weight much further back in the saddle and use very little leg contact, with much of the impulsion from your seat and hands. Important to grasp as some horses were extremely sensitive to leg pressure.

I was matched with Kristin's horses as I stated I was an intermediate rather than advanced rider. I felt completely comfortable with all 3 of them as they were sensible and calm, easy to control, even if you had to work harder to go faster. They actually taught me to ride properly as trot is an easier gait for them and I had to insist on tolt, rather than it happen naturally with Empla. It made me a better rider by the end of the week as I had to learn which buttons to press to keep her going in tolt! It was also a surprise to experience how each horse was completely different to ride, the tolt was much easier to achieve and maintain in the other two, and Empla's sister was possibly the most comfortable horse I have ever ridden with incredibly smooth paces !

A lot of the shepherd's horses are much more forward going and more challenging, so be honest about your ability. They are keen, willing and have tremendous stamina, plus are very quick to change direction and the pace. They were very well behaved riding in a group, despite coming from several farms, but you need to be happy to ride amongst loose horses at times as the herd sometimes travels with the group. You must be happy at all paces in open country and capable of riding together and independently at all times.

Horses live and work as a herd, so they are corralled and herded into a small pen to catch in the mornings. They are well fed and watered but they work extremely hard so you need to be prepared to get off and walk in some places to let them rest and also to climb up and down some pretty steep canyons and gorges. This can we a bit daunting if you don't like heights or challenging terrain. You will also be expected to change horses up to 2-3 times a day.

The horses cover huge distances, so where possible there are long periods of tolt. Some of the terrain is very rocky and uneven, plus there are numerous river crossings. There are long periods standing around waiting for other groups of shepherds to collect subgroups of sheep, so warm clothing and patience is required!

When driving sheep, a lot of the pace is at walk but with the need for quick reactions and short bursts of speed to recapture any breakaway fractions of the flock, of which there are numerous! Flexibility is the buzz word on this trip, you will be expected to saddle your own horses, although there is minimal fuss, merely flicking off any mud, and one saddle fits all horses!

On the whole, be prepared for some long hours in the saddle (our longest was almost 11hrs from getting on to untacking!), but I am not especially riding fit and found the saddles very comfortable. Worth considering riding knickers and anti-chafing cream!

[In The Saddle - thank you so much for your very comprehensive feedback. We are so glad you enjoyed this riding experience.]


Atlantis and Green Island Trail - Azores

Atlantis Ride

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Chris who has been on 9 In The Saddle rides. Happy stay on a beautiful island | All the horses I rode had comfortable paces and excellent manners. The guides were great and the initial assessment lesson was one of the best I have had in years - extremely helpful.


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Karan who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Beyond You’re Expectations!! | Stunning well behaved horses, extremely well looked after. Very fit albeit a “Go faster stick” was required on a couple of occasions….lol


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Nest

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Karon who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Incredible | On day one I injured my back. Gutted. But the lovely staff at Ants took out a more gentle ride and ensured I was okay all the way through the holiday ensuring if I wanted to ride I could, which I did everyday. So grateful for that.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Clare who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Amazing | Exceeded expectations
Wonderful, well cared for horses
Varied terrain
Lots of canters
Beautiful views
Friendly hosts
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you for your lovely feedback, we are so pleased you had a wonderful time.]


Atlantis and Green Island Trail - Azores

Atlantis Ride

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Sheila who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Atlantis Ride (Azores) | We had a lesson at the start of the week. The quality of the instruction was excellent, and it ensured that our hosts knew which of their horses would be the best fit for us.


Wolves and Wild Horses - Portugal

Wolves and Wild Horses

5 star rating   16 September 2023

Heather who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Such a special holiday | The horses are really part of this lovely family. They are loved, cuddled and yes live in/ under the family home. Although calm & gentle they are forward and very enthusiastic for bursts of speed. They are very sure-footed on the mountain terrain and comfortable to ride. It did meet my expectations & the wonderful Mariana did everything to ensure we had a great time adjusted to our wishes. There are some trots & gallops where the terrain is good but even the walking in the reserve is beautiful & peaceful.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   15 September 2023

Rebecca who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. What an incredible week at Macatoo. The team, the wildlife, the horses, the whole experience exceeded all my expectations! | Meet every expectation. Mod at the stables perfectly matched me with two beautiful boys, Huff Puff and Mohembo. I felt as if they were my own by the end of the week and felt so in sync with them.


Macatoo - Botswana

Riding Safari

5 star rating   15 September 2023

Donna who has been on 40 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic trip in the Delta | Fantastic horses. Fit, well matched to their riders and very well cared for.

[Abbie from ITS replies: Thanks so much for your fabulous comments. We're thrilled that you had such a good time at Macatoo and would like to go back in 2025].


Alcainca - Portugal

Riding Holiday

5 star rating   14 September 2023

Eva (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Everything we expected and more | Excellent


Monte Velho - Portugal

Monte Velho

5 star rating   13 September 2023

Rose who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday. Everything exceeded my expectations. | The horses, both dressage and trail were fabulous . They were generous and beautifully mannered.


Monte Velho - Portugal

Monte Velho

5 star rating   13 September 2023

Helena (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Monte Velho - Fantastic | Exceeded all expectations. Horses were superb. Instructors and guides were fantastic.

[ITS Replies: Many thanks for your lovely feedback. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your stay at Monte Velho].


Velani Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

4 star rating   12 September 2023

Jess (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Good


Moolmanshoek - South Africa

Moolmanshoek

5 star rating   12 September 2023

Sylvia who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. Out of the world experience | The riding was out of this world- an amazing combination of technical mountain riding, slower pace when looking for the game and faster riding on the plains with plenty of trots and long canters. The thrill of ascending and descending different mountains went hand in hand with the sense of accomplishment after one just rode 50 km distance ride. I was expected to be challenged and I was and in the best way possible.
While the rides were exciting, it is also people that make Mooolmanshoek the treasure it is. The whole staff made me feel like at home and I cannot find enough words to describe their loving attitude and caring spirit.
[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you so much for your feedback, we are so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed Moolmanshoek!]


Velani Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

5 star rating   12 September 2023

Holly (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Amazing! | The riding was brilliant. Personally for our first riding holiday the amount of hours were great. 2.5 - 4 hours was ideal. The terrain was very different to what we are used to In UK (which we were told) so it made for a very different riding experience. We had more canters than we were expecting which was great. There were some very long fast canters which involved lots of turns and tree ducking which was absolutely thrilling.


Ant's Lodges - South Africa

Ant's Hill

5 star rating   12 September 2023

Ann (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) We were in the barn and saw the horses being fed. The horses have their temperature checked twice a day, and ticks removed. And new shoes every 6 weeks.
The horses' body is slightly thinner than in Denmark, but most horses in Denmark also have overweight 🙂
The horses here were fit, lean and in good shape.


African Explorer - Botswana and South Africa

African Explorer Two

5 star rating   11 September 2023

Debbie (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Amazing | The horses were all extremely well cared for. The guides could recognise a horse by name in the distance in a herd of 100.
The riding was as stated - definitely experienced riders only.


Velani Country Hotel - Crete

Sun and Riding

4 star rating   10 September 2023

Tine (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) It has generally been a fantastic holiday, with good horses, good experiences and nice people - both the hosts and the other guests.
However, there was a lack of information from the hosts about which rides we were going on the different days and which horse you had on the days (I have had 5 different horses in 6 days). You only got the information when you stood in the stable in the morning - so it was difficult to plan accordingly.


Los Alamos - Spain

Villa Based Ride

5 star rating   10 September 2023

Heather (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Simply Amazing | Surpassed expectations


Los Alamos - Spain

Villa Based Ride

5 star rating   10 September 2023

Kathleen (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Excellent


Los Alamos - Spain

Villa Based Ride

5 star rating   10 September 2023

Sissel who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Perfect holliday with beautifull horses | The horses were very well trained, and the guides were excellent! Riding in the pinewoods was beautiful with good opportunity to canter / gallop (fire tracks). One of the pikes was the two trips to the beach, canter in the wet sand along the shore.


Castellare di Tonda - Italy

Medieval Tuscany

5 star rating   9 September 2023

Jan (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) From start to finish this holiday was wonderful | I had the most amazing week at Castellare di Tonda!

From start to finish this holiday was wonderful.

It was my first ever riding holiday and I travelled alone. Becky from in the saddle was incredibly helpful and informative and couldn’t have done more to make booking and holiday prep any easier - thank you Becky!

I was a little nervous as I’d had a recent bad experience riding which had massively knocked my confidence.

The team at Castellare are some of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure to come across - non more so than Ailsa who made the week perfect!

Ailsa is a fantastic riding companion and all round wonderful human - from the first moment I was put at ease and had so much fun riding out through the most beautiful countryside.

Ailsa’s kindness and support didn’t stop with the riding - she also helped me find a lovely wine tasting for my non riding day and was on hand for any questions about anything holiday related.

I had the great pleasure of spending the week riding Rossa who is a joy! Kind and safe but will respond to your leg and seat so well which makes canters the most fun! A beautiful soul she was lovely on the ground too and I had as much fun grooming her as riding her - fell a little bit in love and if I could have taken her home I would have done!

The practical stuff - accommodation is what you’d expect in Italy… basic but everything you need and exceptionally clean and tidy. Food in the restaurant was really lovely and lots of variety.

10/10 would recommend and I’ll definitely be back! Huge thank you to Ailsa and Rossa for helping me fall back in love with riding again - I’m indebted you both.

[Becky from In The Saddle replies: Thank you so much for wonderful feedback. I'm so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed your holiday at Castellare di Tonda :)]


Chubeka Trails - Eswatini

Mlilwane & KaMsholo (Sleep Out)

5 star rating   8 September 2023

Bridget who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Would have been better if I hadn't broken my leg but I did so my summary is more about that | Well on the morning of my day 3 I broke my leg but all I can say is that owing to this I was feeling very, very, very sorry for myself but .... that happened and what happened next with the rest of the holiday is that I was really well looked after, kept busy within my ability to walk and beautifully consoled as I felt bereaved - which seems a little melodramatic and probably is but ... I was with such a fantastic group of people that time flew by too quickly with so much support and laughter and all too soon we were on our way home.

The two days riding I did achieve were wonderful, exhilarating, relaxing and everything I would have wanted - should I have lasted the distance.

One thing I would suggest is that prior to fording rivers is that all riders are encouraged to take their feet out of their stirrups on crossing - none of us did - my accident was nobody's fault (but my own - as I do know better and I didn't act on my [pony club] knowledge).
[In The Saddle - we were so sorry to hear of your accident early in the week and so glad that you well on the way to recovery].


912 reviews    1 3 4 5 6 7 29